CommonWord launches new website for easier Anabaptist resourcing

by Arlyn Friesen Epp

On June 1, 2020 CommonWord launched a new website at that is mobile-friendly, easily searchable, and beautifully designed. We are thrilled to offer this gift to the church and university communities, and the wider public – and invite you to take a peek, especially if you’ve never visited us before. Our goal is to make Anabaptist and related resources easily found for the pastor and the parishioner, the student and the casual reader – and have them available in multiple forms: to buy, borrow or access online.

Start with a keyword search. A scripture text. A name. A theme. Like Google, our enhanced indexing system will suggest subjects, titles, and spelling corrections to prompt you further into the collection.

Our materials are classified with multiple tags so you can quickly filter your results. Focus on a topic, like racism or COVID-19 or climate change. Browse by genre, like curricula or parts of worship. Limit your findings by expressions of music or drama. Sift by video, audio or print. Narrow your search by event, like communion or anointing. Or, restrict your findings by language (e.g. French).

Mix and match your search results – and quickly find that online Advent “Call to Worship” based on Isaiah 9. Or, a children’s picture book about death and dying. Or, Mennonite Church Canada’s Joint Council minutes.

There is a breadth of curated material at your fingertips!

Herald Press publishes books on reconciliation, community, discipleship, mission, spirituality and theology. We have them all available to buy or borrow. Mennonite Heritage Archives collects, preserves and interprets the history of the Mennonite people. We list all their retail titles online. We value the educational and advocacy resources that Mennonite Central Committee produces for North American congregations and offer these materials to borrow or access digitally. Mennonite World Conference represents most of the global Anabaptist family. Its work, in part, is the resourcing of the global church. We are pleased to offer their worship and education resources online. Canadian Mennonite University and Mennonite Church Canada are our founding and governing partners, and their resources – from university public forums to International Witness and Indigenous-Settler Relations materials – are easily accessible.

Additionally, when we launched our website, we celebrated our new partnership with Together in Worship, a bi-national Mennonite curation team committed to providing Anabaptist worship materials for free online. On June 1, over 1,100 such items became available through CommonWord. Many more, including video, audio and visual resources, are forthcoming. Together in Worship will launch its parallel site later this fall.

Over two years of research, experimentation and testing has gone into our website renewal process. There is more tweaking and refinement to happen so the site will remain in beta form for the next while, awaiting your feedback. Please engage. We would love to hear from you.

And, as always, we are here personally to help link you to materials. If you’re not finding what you’re after online, or may not be certain what you’re looking for, please contact us at

Blessings to you. Resourcing ourselves with good, diverse material is a faithful Christian endeavour as we seek to grow in discipleship, love God and neighbour fully, and care for the earth.


Arlyn Friesen Epp is the director of CommonWord, a national bookstore and resource centre of Mennonite Church Canada and Canadian Mennonite University.